About Our Department

The Finance Department ensures financial integrity by directing, coordinating, and monitoring all financial affairs of the City. The department’s duties include budget development and monitoring, general accounting, procurement, accounts payable, and revenue collections.

Property Owners


  • Property owners can pay their taxes and fees online, by mail, by phone, or in person at City Hall. To see your bill or make a payment, click HERE



  • Property tax: Real estate and personal property tax rates for each calendar year are set each Fall by the Board of Commissioners and are due Oct. 15. The current rate is 0.349 for personal property and 0.327 for real estate (or $3.27 per each $1,000 in assessed value). To request tax information, call (859) 292-2180 or use this FORM. Note that the value of your property is set by the Kenton County Property Valuation Administrator (PVA). For questions about your assessment, call the PVA at (859) 392-1750
  • Solid waste & recycling: Individual homes are assessed an annual fee for weekly collection of trash (and optional recycling). The current rate is $152.52. The rate is assessed by March 1 and is due within 30 days. For more information, click HERE. Owners of commercial property and multi-unit residential (5 or more units) contract directly with Rumpke Waste & Recycling at (800) 828-8171 for service.
  • Storm Water and Flood Management Fee: Starting in 2021, property owners will be assessed a monthly fee by the City to fund the MS4 Permit program through which the City keeps rain run-off from polluting groundwater. This replaces a fee that was formerly charged by Sanitation District No. 1 (SD1). For a single-family residential property, the City’s fee is $4.54 a month. It is assessed yearly on March 1 for the calendar year period and is due within 30 days. Owners of duplexes pay for each unit. For owners of commercial property, or multi-family residential buildings with more than two units, the fee will depend on the size and characteristics of their property, specifically the roof area and the amount of (impervious) pavement. The calculations are the same as used by SD1. It will be assessed quarterly for the three months that just ended.



  • Business owners can pay an array of taxes and fees by mail, by phone, or at City Hall. To make a payment, see HERE.



  • Occupational license: Any entity or individual intending to do business in Covington – regardless of whether they are physically located within the City (including professional services such as real estate agents, consultants, contractors, landlords, and others) – must obtain an occupational license HERE. The $50 fee must be remitted along with the application. A temporary license (valid for three days) costs $10 and can be obtained HERE.
  • Zoning permit: Any business with a physical location in Covington must first obtain a zoning permit before the occupational license application can be processed. See HERE.
  • Second-hand/pawn retailers: Any junk dealer, precious metal dealer, scrap metal dealer, pawn shop or second-hand dealer or second-hand store must obtain a special license. The application can be found HERE. Call (859) 292-2180 with questions, or see Chapter 117 of the Covington Code of Ordinances.
  • Door-to-door sales: Persons conducting any door-to-door sales must obtain a special permit after obtaining an occupational license. The application can be found HERE. Call the City Manager’s office at (859) 292-2133 with questions, or see Chapter 114 of the Covington Code of Ordinances.
  • Mobile Food Vending Services Permit: A valid Mobile Food Vending Services Permit is required to operate a Mobile Food Unit within the City. This permit shall be obtained in addition to the Occupational License required under Covington Code of Ordinances §10.21.



  • Insurance premium tax: All insurance companies doing business within City limits must submit this FORM with payment on a year-to-year quarterly basis. The insurance premium rate is 12%.
  • Occupational license fee & business license renewal return (net profit tax): Every business entity and employer required to obtain an occupational license with the City shall file for the preceding taxable year a FORM OL-3. The Occupational License Tax is assessed at 2.5% of the net profits from business conducted in the City by a resident or non-resident business, or $50, whichever is greater. It’s due by April 15. For instructions, see HERE. To apply for an extension, see HERE.



  • Employers’ License Fee Withheld (payroll tax): Employers in Covington are required to withhold 2.45% on all compensation paid to their employees and remit the amount withheld to the City using this FORM. If company withholdings are over $450 per quarter, the company is required to file monthly.

  • Employers’ Annual Reconciliation of License Fees Withheld: Each employer shall, on or before Feb. 28 of each year, complete and file this FORM in order to reconcile employers' withholding tax remitted to the City.

  • IRS Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification): Any person or entity engaging in business with the City of Covington must complete IRS FORM W-9. This includes vendors, contractors, Section 8 Landlords, and anyone to whom the City issues a payment. 

  • Form OL-1 (Request for refund of earnings tax or additional payment due): FORM OL-1 is used both by employees requesting a tax refund on taxes withheld by their employer and for additional payroll tax due to the City.

  • Form 1099-SF (Non-employee compensation): FORM 1099-SF is for employers making payments of more than $600 to persons other than employees for services performed within Covington. This form is due by Feb. 28 of the year following the close of the calendar year in which the non-employee compensation was paid.


Covington operates on a one-year budget cycle with the budget passed annually by the Board of Commissioners in June for the fiscal year that begins July 1 of that year. In addition, the Board receives a status update quarterly, comparing actual expenditures and revenues year to date to the projected budget.

  • To view the budget and quarterly reports, CLICK HERE

Annual Reports

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR): Each year, the City compiles the CAFR, a book of financial statements that present a wide variety of information to explain the true financial picture of the City’s finances and how they compare to the revenue and expenditure data in the annual budget. The CAFR must comply with the accounting requirements established by the national Government Accounting Standards Board and is audited by an independent auditor.

The City’s work on its CAFR has consistently won the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association. See release, HERE.


  • See HERE for details on bids, procurement, and surplus property.


  • Credit rating: The Finance Department’s ongoing efforts to improve the City’s financial management have resulted in two credit rating upgrades in two years.
  • Multi-year financial planning: In Spring 2019, the City acquired forecasting software that allows the department to develop both short-term and long-term budget forecasts. These forecasts help elected officials and City administration understand the impact of budget decisions on the City’s long-term financial health.


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